Blinds and Curtains for Accessible Living

Image of a woman in a wheelchair in front of a sofa for blog by Express Blinds and Curtains on curtains and blinds for accessible living


If you are deciding on window dressings for a nursing home or granny annexe, you might be wondering what the best types of blinds and curtains for accessible living are, and if the window dressings really make a difference.

Or, maybe you are looking for a style update in your own home but have some individual needs that need to be met.

Well blinds and curtains are what we do, so read on to find out more.

Fire safe


The most important thing is that the curtains and blinds in an nursing home, sheltered accommodation, or granny annexe are safe, particularly from fires.

According to the government generated data, people over the age of 80, particularly men have more fire related fatalities than others age bracket. The vast majority of fires attended by the fire services, 30,774 to be exact, occurred in dwellings.

A sobering thought. And one that highlights the importance of ensuring window dressings in dwellings where the elderly live are fire safe.

This comes down to the fabric, usually. Fire retardant fabric is usually 100% polyester, which allows them to drop, rather than flare up if they catch fire. Other fabrics can be used but they need to be treated first to make them fire resistant. If you are looking for fire resistant curtains or blinds, be sure to check that they are compliant with the standard BS5867.

Image of an elderly man being helped into a chair by a care worker for blog by Express Blinds and Curtains on curtains and blinds for accessible living
Elderly care nurse helping senior from bed to wheel chair in hospital or nursing home

Blinds or curtains


Whether to choose curtains or blinds will come down to the individuals using them.

In a nursing home, blinds might be the right choice, as they are easy to clean and will not absorb cooking odours like curtains would.

Long curtains might present a trip hazard, so beware of choosing long curtains if mobility is an issue.

Many find the weight of venetian blinds too heavy to pull up, particularly if there is diminished mobility in the shoulders or arms. Opting for a lighter panel blind or even a pleated blind will make it easier to lift and lower them.,

Curtains, however, are also easy to draw if they are on a rail, as opposed to a track. Or, opt for curtains on a pully track so the weight is taken by the rope and not your arms.

No Print


Believe it or not the print and pattern you choose for your curtains and blinds will make a difference to the way you live.

If you live in a granny annexe and are low on space you might want to consider choosing a sleek blind with a small, unfussy pattern, or no pattern at all. This will make the space look bigger and keep lines clean and sleek.

Or, if you are kitting out a nursing home with curtains you will probably want to steer clear of patters all together, as this can often cause confusion or distractions for people with advanced Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Blackout Blinds

As we get older our sleep patterns change. This is due to a change in brain function and an altering of our circadian rhythms, rather than a need for less sleep.

In fact, an adult’s sleep requirement stays the same throughout life. But many older people report a decline in the quality of sleep, resulting in frequent bouts of waking and general restlessness.

A reduction in the quality of sleep can leave older people tired and result in memory loss, confusion, and a lack of coordination-something we have all experienced when chronically tired.

Blackout blinds are an excellent choice here.

As we get older our circadian rhythm changes, so we go to sleep earlier and wake earlier, but this doesn’t have to be the case.

Enjoy your evenings and lay ins again with blackout blinds tricking your body into thinking it is still night time. Light therapy in the evenings can deal with the other end of the day and get your circadian rhythm back to what it was. This article from the National Sleep Foundation has some excellent information on it.

Image of elderly in bed for blog by Express Blinds and Curtains on curtains and blinds for accessible living

The Ultimate Choice

Ultimately, choosing curtains and blinds for accessible living comes down to the needs of the individual. But there are a few factors to consider. We make made-to-measure blinds and curtains to suit all needs so can help you with that decisions.

If you would like to have a chat about curtains and blinds for your nursing home, granny annexe, or house give us a call on 01226 307367  or email


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